NEW PSYCHOPHYSICAL PARADIGM
EMERGENT HEALING Paradigm
MIND/BODY CONNECTION, by Iona Miller
For most of human history, healing has involved contact with spirit, with consciousness, with rituals intended to create a shared biofield with a shaman who seemingly could exert mind over matter. This spiritual technology has yielded to technological medicine governed by the rational protocols of science. But noting that medical intuition and therapeutic rapport are real forces in the healing process, many practitioners are moving toward a new paradigm or model of healing.
Anomalies such as the proven power of prayer, placebo effect, spontaneous remission, therapeutic intentionality, and remote healing hint that the irrational, the mysterious, is an inherent part of the natural healing process. When we become ill, the fundamental nature of consciousness is revealed as it relates to both mind and matter, psyche and soma. Consciousness may be more fundamental than either energy or matter, as the Vedas claimed centuries ago. At this sensitive threshold, miniscule changes in the situation can lead to large differences in the outcome.
THE QUANTUM SELF
We need to remold our healing institutions to conform with new physics to develop a contemporary understanding of the mind/body. A new model of the human organism is emerging ~ a holistic rather than mechanistic model that theorizes our basis in the quantum world; it means healing can happen in very subtle ways, perhaps even at the quantum level.
Emergence is the process by which order appears spontaneously within a system. It is essential to understanding functional consciousness, the mind/body, subjective experience, and the healing process. When many elements of a system mingle, they form patterns among themselves as they interact.
When the mind lets go of its rational order, lets the old form die, and enters into unstructured chaos, the whole person emerges with a new form, embodied as a creative expression, an intuition, or as healing. Most often it is characterized by an element of novelty and surprise, since it apparently does not originate in what came before. Both healing and medical intuition are examples of emergence. It is a spontaneous solution to a problem.
The healing arts, from conventional medicine to alternative/complementary medicine, and from psychology to pastoral counseling are undergoing a shift from a mechanistic to a holistic paradigm. Science is actually an experimental philosophy whose highest value is empiricism, and conventional healing shares this philosophy. All new scientific theories require some unifying idea, and that idea is, by definition, metaphysical ~ essentially untestable.
Today's heresies are tomorrow's dogmas. In any metaphysical dispute, strong non-scientific arguments can propose new theories, which may become scientific. Speculative ideas have contributed heavily to the growth of knowledge.
Rather than discouraging exploration of fringe areas of knowledge, this awareness makes it mandatory we explore all possible modalities and anomalies without prejudice, no matter how unconventional. Even extraordinary subjects may be approached with rigorous protocols. Though subjectivity is unwelcome in science, we can study the subjective nature of experience (qualia) in various ways. The process of healing is one such subjective experience.
The alchemists, who were students of consciousness in matter, created an elixer of life, a “medicine of philosophers”, a cure-all or panacea. What the modern world yearns for is a “meta-syn,” or visionary synthesis rooted not in a mechanistic model but one using nature’s own forms of self-organization.
This model is based on the peculiar characteristics of nonlocality and probability of quantum physics, rather than classical Newtonian mechanics. Hopefully, the new model has the power to resonate with our whole being and propel us into a more effective healing paradigm. Emergent healing is actually a treatment philosophy, rooted in a worldview born from our current understanding of the nature of Reality.
The emerging paradigm is a more subtle and energetic model of health. In the emergent healing paradigm, healing depends on the nonlocal principles of nature’s own self-organization, as well as on direct causal influences on the mind/body of the organism. It appeals to spirit, soul, and body.
Recognizing the complexity of reality, the new paradigm includes a series of perspectives, which emphasize the positive rather than pathological, health rather than sickness, and a holistic approach to health care.
In this qualitative, rather than outcome-oriented approach, subjective experience and process are valued. The fusion of mind, emotions, body and spirit is recognized as central. In this ecological approach, the individual is embedded within larger systems, not isolated as a disease process. When we treat a symptom or disease rather than the whole person, we treat the part not the whole.
Interdependence of individuals, societies, and nature can be honored. As our knowledge of nature is increased, our knowledge of our own nature also grows correspondingly. Health, self-healing, and therapeutics is a balance supported by many disciplines, including physics, biology, and psychology as well as medicine.
We have all noticed that often the physical body is healed, but not the emotional trauma; or perhaps there is spiritual or psychological healing, but not physical cure. Therefore, it only makes sense to treat the whole person, rather than just the symptomology.
Paradigms underlie the interplay of chaos and order in human culture, at the conscious and unconscious, collective and individual level. These tacit belief systems act as lenses through which all sensory data passes before it is experienced as perception. Some perceptions arrive relatively undisturbed while others are subject to immediate characterization, distortions, and value-judgments.
Old ideas die hard. The established order, materialism, is entrenched. Establishment science is always resistant to new ideas. Science deals with models and metaphors of our perception of reality. We have had science less than 500 years, but in that time it has transformed much of the world technologically, intellectually and physically.
Scientific models change as exploration leads to the discovery of new facts and approaches that work. Still, new models are slow to be embraced. The dominant worldview hangs on as tenaciously as geocentric religious views did in the Dark Ages.
A paradigm is a working set of assumptions and postulates, (a disciplinarian matrix), about a field of inquiry or practice ~ such as healing. How we envision healing is as important as how we proceed to try to heal. It governs our protocols, what we notice and fail to notice, and how we evaluate the results. The theoretical construct defines our approach and methodology. It gains momentum over time.
Scientific exploration is not a linear process, but results from competition among theories. The best results of each system are then woven into a seamless fabric that, at least temporarily, defines the nature of that field. New observations can lead to complete revisioning of a discipline, like the emergence of quantum mechanics did in physics. Filling in theoretical gaps leads toward better explanations and solutions to problems.
Sometimes new paradigms coexist and develop alongside one another, until one supersedes the other. This is paradigm shift. Such has been the case in concurrent development of allopathic and alternative or energy medicine, also called integral medicine.
Both the conventional and integral approaches have long, noble histories, one rooted largely in western culture, the other in Asian systems. Allopathic doctors and patients themselves now recognize that strictly reductionistic and technologically-based medicine has its limitations in contemporary healthcare.
Objective science can be devoid of higher purpose and intentionality. Thus, we find ourselves with a host of ethical dilemmas in genetic engineering, transplant research, geriatrics, pharmacology, cloning, technological intervention, and molecular biology.
The relativism of postmodern deconstructionism has undermined all theoretical perspectives, turning them into or exposing them as social constructions. It is true that the healing arts are riddled with political, religious, and cultural biases. Health care has been delivered in terms of a power relationship over the body, superimposed on its biology.
There is a strong desire from the both the scientific community and public for a health system that values personal relationships, emotions, meaning, and beliefs. They connect body, mind, spirit, and society.
It is crucial to realize there is both rational and paradoxical healing, and both are vital to our well-being. Paradoxical thinking is unpredictable, unique, unforgettable, unrepeatable, and often indescribable. Breakthroughs are often paradoxical in nature, seemingly absurd, yet in fact true. Rational healing relies on doing, while paradoxical healing is rooted in ways of being. Physician Larry Dossey says it requires, “standing in the Mystery.”
There is a yearning to return “mystery” to the mechanistic arena of healing, so we can face illness and disease as whole organisms. Transpersonal forces have a valid place in healing, as they do in all areas of our existence. Many people have a sense of the importance of actively integrating spiritual principles with the material world.
The whole-systems approach co-exists with conventional medicine and is making inroads among its practitioners. Treating causes as well as symptoms, it mobilizes the patient’s will to live. It fosters the inner dimensions of the healing experience. The healing response includes behavioral, mental and spiritual shifts or transformations.
Health is the natural outcome of a meaningful life, not just absence of symptoms. It means a comprehension of the complexities of life that is deeper than the conventional worldview of cause and effect. It proposes that consciousness is the foundation of reality. We do not exist independently from the universe, but the exact nature of that seamless connection is unknown.
Rooted in relativity, quantum, holographic and chaos theories, a metaphysical context is provided to justify such a paradigm shift from the purely causal healing model. The interactive field (psychodynamic field) present in healing situations can be amplified intentionally through therapeutic entrainment, or resonant feedback playing off the unified field (universal field).
NEW CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
No science or healing is independent of the realities of our fundamental consciousness. Consciousness is a process not an object. Neuroscientists have begun to study consciousness, both in its functional and universal aspects.
Some scientists try to reduce matter (brain cells) to consciousness while others are trying to reduce consciousness to matter. Some suggest (Newell), echoing ancient philosophies, that Absolute Consciousness may be a field that is always everywhere.
We are not discrete entities but deeply embedded within the fabric of the universe. The essence we share, more fundamental than matter and energy, may well be primordial consciousness. It may be the very basis of materiality, as the Vedas implied centuries ago. Consciousness involves the integration of information, not just a passive array of information itself.
We have many ways, besides our senses, of interfacing with reality, including intentionality, intuition, somatic perception, and direct apprehension. The new integral model of health and mind/body healing recognizes and operates from this expanded perspective and innovative medical options.
Consciousness -- the intersubjective dimension -- may be a stronger dynamic causal factor in healing than previously considered. Incorporating the full spectrum of human experience into healing promises new possibilities, new outcomes, which have been neglected in the biomedical model.
Conscious intentionality may influence subtle electromagnetic or quantum field energy processes. It affects the exchange of information at the cellular, organismic, and social level. Exceptional states of awareness (such as meditation, shamanic journeying, dreaming, dissociation, etc.) can lead to exceptional results, but they also require exceptional proof that may be difficult to produce in the laboratory or document objectively.
The emerging worldview extends our concepts beyond the domain of purely objective, reductionistic realism ~ materialism. The trend is moving from biophysical to psychophysical and psychospiritual dimensions without loss of scientific rigor.
Just as physics seeks a unified field theory, so the healing process needs a model that accounts for the mechanisms of natural healing and its anomalies such a placebo effect, spontaneous remission, even distant healing. Consciousness may just be an expression of such a universal field.
Models of healing in which disease is seen as an invasive process and the treatments are also invasive can give way to those following a natural, evolutionary course. Rather than comparing healing to a fight, or war on an external invader, we can imagine it as the creation of healthy processes. New forms emerge from adaptations after the breakdown of old forms. In this synergetic view, the organism interacts with its total environment.
Quantum Biophysics and Healing
Our contemporary task is to move beyond the apparent mind/body dichotomy of western mechanistic thought. This cannot remain a mere concept but must become part of our essence, a belief lived from our very core. Living from a holistic perspective is an experiential process, a Way of life.
"Consciousness" encompasses the potentially integrated healing aspects of brain, mind, emotions, and spirit, together with physiological and environmental influences that produce unique patterns. Healing is a physical or biological form of creativity. Nonlocal healing is a synchronistic event, which takes place in the presence of intentionality to share a common field of influence.
The "consciousness of healing" may be a pattern, or patterns, that can be identified in the anomalous energies associated with sensitive persons. Anomalous energies are one highly meaningful constellation of factors. Recurrent, complex, interrelated patterns, processes and temporal variations, influenced by the environment, are inherent in states of consciousness for better or worse.
Selected aspects of consciousness provide more reliable experimental replication and active integration of holistic investigations into the sources and processes of healing, other associated non-local phenomena, environmental effects and biophysical interactions of body, mind, emotions and spirit.
New developments on the frontier of science start with (1) observations of phenomenological effects, (2) collection of anecdotal information, (3) organizing the data into useful patterns and relationships from the experiential data, (4) developing a subsequent taxonomy for defining discrete phenomena and their various aspects, (5) forming research protocols and designs to test hypotheses and maximize successful and reproducible results, and (6) utilizing the research results in development of individual and group healing applications and expanding knowledge about the bioenergetic aspects of healing.
It has been suggested (Dossey; Krippner; Gowan; Motoyama; Beal and Gilula, 2004) that some individuals possess unusual capabilities and processes of consciousness. They are often considered intuitive about past, present or future events, and highly sensitive to body, mind, spirit and environmental influences, in and around other persons, as well other living and non-living systems. They may be admired, imitated, ignored, feared, suppressed or judged as "handicapped" or "mentally afflicted", depending on how they use their "gifts".
Associated with an individual’s abilities, there are aspects of, (1) emotional events, both life-changing (epiphany or tragedy), and sequelae, (2) and/or an inherited component, (3) a health issue, which may also serve to influence their unusual capabilities, and, (4) an environmental influence, positive or negative.
Please note that these people, by inheritance, accident, illness, discipline, or environmental influence manifest an incredible range of sensitivity, down to quantum energy levels. Many persons involved in healing processes are hypersensitive to chemical, electromagnetic, and electrical factors, whether acquired either naturally or artificially induced.
Strong psychosomatic overtones are related to electrical and electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) as well as to multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). This type of adaptation and sensitivity may be one of the characteristics important to possess or develop in the healing process.
There are many answers to "unexplained phenomena." We are developing more sensitive instruments to measure, internally and externally, the electrochemical nature of living systems and the interacting variables of the environment. Every day we watch the impossible or nonsensical become useful and applicable through technological and conceptual quantum leaps in awareness.
The complex interactions of all these energy factors (holographic, quantum, electromagnetic and chemical) that shape life processes must be considered, along with genetic, biochemical, age, gender and health processes. All of these factors must be addressed in any exploration of unusual states of consciousness whether they occur in individuals or in groups. There is comparatively very little human perspective/awareness anywhere about our long-term relationship interactions with the earth and all other living systems.
We are a product of our natural earth environment and respond to some subtle degree (and sometimes not so subtle) to the same geoelectromagnetic, chemical and atmospheric factors which affect all other living things. We can, and are, affecting the balance of nature, which in the long-term affects us. This is a true form of biological feedback.
The field of healing sources and processes requires the development of taxonomy and protocols for analyzing and exploring inherited, spontaneous, controlled and stressful patterns of consciousness, and relating these patterns to potential environmental influences.
Areas of concern, which can respond to investigation, are the recurrent, complex, interrelated patterns of brain activity (before, during, and after healing events) related to 1) the consciousness of the healer (what psychophysiological patterns are required to produce optimal and repeatable healing, 2) environmental influences supporting the healing objectives, and 3) consciousness of the subject.
When both the patient and healer are co-equals in the process and on a “level playing field,” patient safety is optimized, but so is healer safety. This type of setting also maximizes the possibilities of bioentrainment of physiological signals belonging to both patient and healer.
A level playing field also allows patient and healer to co-create the process of healing from a position of mutual empathy, respect, and trust. Such a level field is created by an environment, which maximizes those traits. Interrelated patterns of consciousness are reflected in brainwave (EEG) frequency distribution, psychophysiological states, and environmental conditions, which affect the clinical healing setting (Gilula).
Unusual states of consciousness, controlled or spontaneous may occur due to: (1) external sensory induction, sensory deprivation or sensory over-stimulation, (by environmental influences); (2) internal changes that are self-induced by body and mind disciplines, (3) ill health, (psychophysiological aspects of electrical and chemical sensitivity), accident, injury or near-death trauma, (4) inherited CNS influences, for example, familial periodic paralysis (FPP) and recurring spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK), or (5) interactive combinations of the previous factors.
Research suggests that RSPK incidents tend to occur under unusual emotional stress and on days of above average geomagnetic fields, modulated by EMFs from the agent and focused by the agent onto significant other objects. Krippner and Persinger also report anomalies and amplification of psi reports associated with periods of exposure to tectonic strain.
The RSPK process is similar to the electro-acoustic effect of movement induced in the diaphragm of a loudspeaker by an electric current. But, in RSPK, the EMF energy moves through space-time without the benefit of electrical wiring, presumably because it is highly focused.
Roll brings up Puthoff’s theory that the central person affects the zero-point energy (ZPE) that fills space and thereby the gravity/inertia that usually keep things in place. If the ZPE is affected during RSPK, this may suggest that the ZPE has a consciousness component.
Meditative or yogic practices would add a dimension of personal exploration to any investigation of the zero-point energy. Recent research studies of the nature of consciousness and the relationship to "quantum holography", requires a new perspective regarding time, space and energy interactions.
Persons who exhibit strong allergic responses, who are often chemically and/or electrically sensitive, may inadvertently affect tape recorders, computers, lights, TVs and other sensitive electronic equipment during their reactive episodes. This is strongly reminiscent of the “Pauli Effect.” Robert Morris has reported that some individuals are affecting electronic equipment when they are in an intense or traumatized emotional state. Effects on magnetometers, electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic field detectors have been noted from persons who claim non-local energy projection abilities.
Pathological sensitivities can be either inherited or accidentally acquired. Spontaneous, non-local events may occasionally occur around FPP or EHS-afflicted individuals. The events seem causally related to RSPK, and include lights going on and off (usually solar-activated types), computers crashing, individual components burning up, and other similar effects on sensitive solid-state electronic devices. Stressful events that may be psychophysiological or environmental seem to help initiate both FPP and ESH reactions, with RSPK occurring sometimes as a side-effect.
New methodologies and taxonomies may provide more consistent replication, control, amplification, and exploration of the subtle energies associated with healing and other states of consciousness. In the efforts to understand the interrelated patterns of body, brain, emotions, mind and environment involved in healing processes, we may describe some sources of healing within the blend of consciousness and quantum cosmology.
Quantum mechanics, chaos theory and complexity have superceded both the pre-scientific and mechanistic worldviews. The new paradigm is an organic model ~ Nature's Way of spontaneous self-organization, self-assembly, regeneration, and transmutation of energy/matter.
Chaos prevails from the infinitely small to cosmic levels. Dynamic processes are deterministic though unpredictable. All experience is subjective. Intuition is an informational source that is non-linear and therefore can create quantum leaps in consciousness. Using imagination, we can ‘see through’ to a deeper level of reality.
The Universe is a fractal manifestation of the interaction or interdependence of chaos and order. Nature and evolution are complimentary systems evolving at the edge of chaos ~ the source of the genesis of new forms. Like a fractal, the individual embodies the whole, to a greater or lesser degree. We are neither exclusively biological nor psychospiritual beings ~ we are both/and psychobiological.
Archetypes are rooted in or emerge from the Demiurgic field as attractors, chaotic systems having fractal or reiterative structures that repeat at all levels of observation. They never settle into equilibrium, periodicity, or resonance. Transpersonal experience creates a new interpretation, or perspective on reality. Systems arise from positive feedback and amplification. Thus, archetypes introduce erratic behavior that leads to the emergence of new situations, including creative insight.
Both perception and cognition can be modeled as a transition from a state of chaos representing the unrecognized condition, or the unresolved problem, to a state of order. Creativity or learning can emerge spontaneously, from exploring states of confusion, to the instantaneous insight of a "Eureka"; moment, or knowing state through bifurcation to a new attractor, to chaotic resolution.
Art and artfulness embody the imagination expressed as a living form. An expressive form manifests human feelings and values, a concept of life (exoteric) and inward reality (esoteric) ~ the logic of consciousness itself. Other examples are sudden illumination, aesthetic appreciation, opening to nature (nature-mystic experience), simple recognition to dramatic realization, or awe.
An experience, innovation, discovery or realization always has aesthetic appeal. It contains mythological, metaphorical and epistemological dimensions. When we have a creative, therapeutic or transformative experience, it involves a degree of "what it is like"; to be shaped, to apprehend this given, to undergo this process or happening.
Chaos theory shows us we actually need to cooperate with chaotic dynamics, to enter a less-rigid process of flow, submitting outworn aspects of the ego to dissolution. This increases our adaptability helping us evolve. At supercritical junctions (crises, crossroads, bifurcations) we either breakdown (emergency) or increase adaptation (emergence) with more creative solutions.
Creativity is an excited-exalted state of arousal with a characteristic increase in both informational content and the rate of information processing. Creative holistic repatterning is introduced into the human system through the psyche as nonmanifest yet phenomenological images, symbols, and patterning information.
Imagination is embodied, objectified, expressed in the creative process. It is knowing through living through, distinctionally different from knowing about. It carries a sense of immediacy. Imagination is the voice of creativity. It is the primary way we experience soul; imagination embodies it’s own reality. It is self-revelatory. Meaning dwells in the image like consciousness dwells in the body.
We live in a chaotic universe to which we are seamlessly wed. We are a chaotic system ourselves, and chaotic systems exhibit holistic behavior. Holism sees the world in all its diversity as connected. A global wave of information (consciousness) is responsible for the extraordinary coherence that expresses as self-organization. It’s not a case of ‘we are the world’; we are one with the whole universe of phenomena and being in the deepest sense. The unifying force is consciousness.
Beauty is a state of consciousness described in Kabbalah and Hermetic philosophy as related to self-actualization. In psychological terms it implies transcendence of the realm of personality and intimate knowledge of the transpersonal self. It corresponds with creativity, healing, genius and bliss states or unitive experience. The bottom-up creative dynamic runs from personality to Self, to Demiurgic Field.
Chaos theory provides a comprehensive metaphor for uniting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realities. Supreme insights are always metaphorical in expression. The empirical connection may lie in the mystery of the true nature of consciousness, healing, and creativity. Knowledge about natural phenomena, the way nature and ourselves work, can help us attune to deeper resources. The same essential dynamics that gave rise to the birth of the universe govern human creativity and learning.
VENUS BUTTERFLY EFFECT
By Iona Miller, CHT 12/04
But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life? ~ Michel Foucault
The relationship between two people creates society; society is not independent of you and me; the mass is not by itself a separate entity but you and I in relationship to each other create the mass, the group, the society--Krishnamurti
For all the trappings of civilized society, and our attempts to restrain and civilize it, sex remains forever the chaotic vital force, eclipsing our hearts and capturing our minds, winging on the airwaves in the throbbing beat of rock and roll, ensnaring all, in love's enticements and torments, from our founding creation myths, to our greatest dramatic performances. Its mountains of spice span the great divide between divine comedy and stark tragedy. ~ Chris King, Sexual Paradox
“Total union is not possible when the ego is afraid to give up, and where the ego is not firmly grounded in the instincts it dare not surrender to the transpersonal power.
~ Marion Woodman, Addiction to Perfection
The philosophy presented in Paul Pearsall's 1994 book Sexual Healing is more pertinent than ever, as we seek new ways of healing ourselves, others, and our trouble-plagued world. Many people understand that this work begins at home, in cleaning up one's own backyard;, but we can also come to understand that social outreach can be rooted in a healthy approach to our sexuality and wholeness.
In chaos theory's butterfly effect, small influences are pumped up into great change; in the Venus butterfly effect; healing spreads from the sexual core of each of us into the environment. The seemingly inconsequential or unrelated affects outcomes in ways unpredicatable to modern humankind. We can certainly guess at many factors in our lives, but there are equally other things happening beyond our knowing that perturb our life paths into different choices. The same can happen on a greater scale, from molecular to global.
Sexual healing requires that we practice selflessness as often out of bed as we do in bed so that when we make love, we love like we live. Sexual healing suggests the universal principles of collective responsibility rather than individual right lead to better health for ourselves and our society. The focus to comply to avoid punishment must be replaced with intentionality. All the elements of ordinary experience are sacralized.
The sexual and reproductive choices of each of us play a pivotal role in the future of life and human culture. The multidimensional sexual relationship in its mingling of cooperative and competitive motifs, is a fundamental mystery of existence, out of which life, diversity and the richness of human culture spring - the condition of creative sexual paradox. (Fielder and King).
People connecting is the true act of healing. Sexual healing views the immune system as a sensual and sexual organ ~ a liquefied nervous system. The primary purpose of sex as a psychophysical impulse is not to fulfill the individual but to promote more caring and intimacy everywhere and for everyone - family, society, and the world. Sexual healing is based on the sacredness and privacy of the two-person interaction. There are five levels of connection: with self, with another, with something more, with the present moment, and with the body of another person.
Intimacy/interdependence and immunity are inseparably linked, like mindbody and matter/energy. Our personal health is intimately related to our sexual and bonding styles, and reflects in the greater community at large. Our culture is rooted in our psychophysiology. Sexual healing is based on the assumption that the desire and ability to merge intensely with another person is crucial to health. Through it we connect with another person, the present moment, and open to the transpersonal, living in the moment not for the moment.
There are long-term health benefits in such unions. But healing love derives from caring acts, not spontaneous and romantic emotional reflexes and brain-chemistry which can be quite overwhelming and distressing. Pleasure heals. Sexual healing actively enhances relationship, feels good and fits well and constructively with the world and is good for your health. It is the physical expression of how we think, feel and believe about our healing partner. People either stress or nurture us, in general. We decide if we feel threatened or comforted, attracted or repulsed.
Psychoneurosexuality suggests intimate relationships are not only choices of who and how we love but affect our health and that of our partner. Every act of love and intimacy is an act of immunity. We can protect and heal our bodies with healthy connections. Trust and security allow us to open to vulnerability.
In meaningful connected sexual intimacy our hormones are in erotic harmony that boosts immune function. Every sex act is potentially an anti-aging immune stimulation. Intimate relations are a way of stimulating, programming, balancing and strengthening the immune system.
Loving empathy is earned within an enduring, responsible, intimate exchange intentionally engaged in with another person. We feel love when we behave lovingly. Empathy means sensing and acknowledging another’s feelings, but sympathy validates them as authentic. Sexual healing combines both for mutual support. Our passions are prototypes for immune function and healing, and perhaps more foundational than fads in “healthy living.” Those who pursue time-consuming health hobbies to the detriment of their relationships, take note.
Adult romantic love can be viewed as a continuation of the attachment process. Love is an integration of three biologically based behavioral systems: attachment, caregiving, and sexuality. "Companionate love" includes attachment and caregiving but not necessarily sexuality, whereas "passionate love" emphasizes only sexual attraction. Attachment style is likely to exert a very pervasive influence on our relationships with others, because it reflects general views about the rewards and dangers of interpersonal relationships.
There are three typical attachment styles: secure, avoidant, and anxious/ambivalent. There are similarities in the life-cycle of adult love (an attaching “in-love” phase leads on to a secure attachment) and childhood attachment (strong maternal attachment leads to secure attachment style).
Characteristics of parent-child relationships are probable causes of differences in infant attachment styles and are also among the determinants of adult romantic attachment styles. Attachment dimensions are likely to influence who one chooses as a dating partner and may play an important role in organizing behaviours, perceptions and expectations within dating relationships.
Secure individuals have a more positive self-image than insecure types. They are more trusting in general and likely to believe in people’s altruism and capacity and willingness and to adapt and control the outcomes of their lives. Their views of love are more romantic and less practical. They tended to report warm relationships with caregivers.
Insecure people have lower self-worth and confidence. They believe human nature is complex and difficult to understand, consider others less altruistic and more likely to conform to social pressures. Love style is related to obsession/dependency. They tend to report cold or inconsistent caregiving. Differences in attachment are linked to differences in beliefs about self and others in ways that are consistent with attachment theory.
Secure individuals’ parental representations are characterized by differentiation, elaboration, benevolence, and nonpunitiveness. Representations by dismissing people were characterized by less differentiation and more punitiveness and malevolence. Fearful individuals describe their parents as relatively punitive and malevolent, but their representations are well differentiated and conceptually complex. Anxious-ambivalent people describe their parents ambivalently as both punitive and benevolent.
Differences in adult attachment styles are found to be related to differences in (1) most significant love experiences, (2) mental models of self and relationships, (3) attachment-history (memories of childhood relationships with parents), (4) vulnerability to loneliness, and (5) feelings related to work, such as feelings towards relationships with coworkers and using work to avoid social contacts.
Bonding is a buffer against both delusional delight and crisis, the slings and arrows of life. We learn to be attracted to the intensity of interpersonal relationship rather than our own arousal states (psychochemical high). Infatuation causes us to assess our emotional, cognitive and sexual coping capacity to be intimate in a healthy and satisfying way. An individual`s own attachment style was a stronger predictor of perceived relationship quality than the partner`s attachment style.
Compared with secure and anxious-ambivalent persons, avoidant persons report lower levels of intimacy, enjoyment, promotive interaction, and positive emotions, and higher levels of negative emotions, primarily in opposite-sex interactions. Avoidant persons may structure social activities in ways that minimize closeness. Secure people differentiate more clearly than either insecure group between romantic and other opposite-sex partners.
1. Personal attachment style has a more significant effect on how relationships are experienced than partner`s style.
2. Males will report lower levels of interdependence, commitment and satisfaction when with anxious females.
3. Females will report lower levels of trust and satisfaction when with avoidant males.
Relationships can have an effect on attachment style, but attachment style is actually pretty robust and rarely affect another’s attachment style. Attachment style is related to attachment history, beliefs about relationships, personal love style, duration of romantic relationships, self-esteem, avoidance of intimacy, limerance and love addiction.
This suggests attachment style is likely to exert a very pervasive influence on the individual’s relationships with others, because it reflects general views about the rewards and dangers of interpersonal relationships. Attachment history has a decreasing effect on style of romantic relationship as individuals age.
We can be nurtured by someone without feeding on them. Sexual healing is based on sharing our life energy generated by a fully connected life. It is not possible when we draw from the core our partners’ life energy or give energy from our own core. We can give altruistically without giving lives away to energy vampires. Sexual healing requires a new view of bonding and a concept of connective codependence as a cure ~ a means of deploying one’s loving erotic style to care for and with another no matter how severe the relationship crisis and challenges may be or how hurt and impaired the partner may become.
Sexual healing requires us to move beyond mindbody chemistry toward more growth-promoting, meaningful, stable, enduring, more demanding relationships, focusing on the other rather than our internal high. Sexual healing involves recognition of your own, your partner's, and your relationship's variations in sexual intimacy. It is a measured response to the true identity and essence of the other person. Bonding is based on connective codependence and interdependence and is the source of the most powerful sexual healing.
Pearsall helps us reclaim our psychosexual essential nature from the "sexual syndicate"; with its negative labels, mechanical technical proficiencies, ersatz taboo-breaking, and hypersexualized but relatively meaningless sexual context and content. Media arguably plays as big or larger of a role in the syndication of sex than the healing arts.
The net result is that we either manically try to ‘measure up’, or feel like failures, grow despondent, wrongly viewing ourselves as addicts or codependents. We import techniques from outside of ourselves to “fix” the problems from self image and sexual compulsion to erotic anesthesia.
My own experience as a therapist with a specialty in sexual abuse throughout the 1980s and ‘90s showed me quite graphically that many of the principles being preached by the recovery movement and other social institutions lacked a certain fundamental insight.
They spoke of the four primary modes or dimensions of human connection: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, but often in a prescriptive not in a cohesive way. It seemed like a one-size-fits-all formulaic approach, with a dogma of "Do's and don'ts". The guiding principle of sexual healing is Oneness and connection, not power, control, or even personal autonomy.
Sometimes the enforcement of these models of life, sexuality, and recovery were toxic in and of themselves. In collusion with misplaced religious zeal, it spawned the poisonous cultural memes of Satanic Panic and False Memory Syndrome, which consumed many lives. Families were split apart by an imported delusion and faulty social model, children were manipulated and confused, enforcement agencies and courts were tied up, people were falsely accused and imprisoned, etc.
At best, rigid protocols and endless meetings were the "only" way to become a more functional individual, lest one continuously repeat the dysfunctional cycle or pass it on to future generations. This distorted control over cookbook definitions of good sex has created a bondage of self-pleasure.
But wouldn't it be terrific if we could perturb society and mount the same kind of effect in a positive direction based on sexual healing, and permeating the fabric of life from the molecular to the transperonal level? This would go a long way toward healing our mindbody splits, left over from the obsolete paradigm of the mechanistic age. It reminds of Lysistrata, and the more recent Women Who Slept with Men to Take the War Out of Them.
Pearsall dared question some of these underlying recovery-based assumptions without attacking the system directly. Instead he simply offered a treatment philosophy he felt supported overall health more strongly. Some of these values are echoed in tradition while others are revolutionary in their simplicity. Sexual healing is an androgynous process that combines the strengths and counterbalances the vulnerabilities of gender roles. It might therefore be considered a creative movement toward gender reunion, or wholeness.
He suggested a type of sexual shamanism, that a sexual healer is a model of sexual health, not just one with an absence of sexual problems. He called this personality an Erotophilic ~ a lover of the erotic, of Eros, of close intimate contact. In myth, Eros is wed to Psyche, the psychophysical imaginal faculty. The child Voluptas embodied their mutual joy. Giving, not just trying to get, makes us healthy and heals us. We partner in a kind of privileged miracle.
All shamans exhibit sensual activity and playful joy in living with others. A sexual healer is a "care-sharer". Stamina and desire emerge spontaneously from those who are energetic, erotic, tender, responsible, happy, confident, empathic, sympathetic, and fulfilled. Motivation follows the exchange of intentional caring acts. Why wouldn't it?
But Pearsall doesn't burden us with New Age guiltor shame about our health or lack of it. He busts the myths of self-healing, illness, grief and guilt as enemies, positive thinking, codependence and the heroic medical model. In fact, he considers illness a learning experience that perturbs our emotional stagnation. Suffering sickness is an inspiration for healing and an evolutionarily necessesity because it drives us toward reconnection and the maintenance of our connections. No disease kills people faster than loneliness. Most depression is rooted in lack of meaningful connection, bonding.
Connection guarantees the continuation of our genetic identity and the survival of humanity and the world. Health isn't strength, it's balance. Sickness isn’t failure, it's a challenge. He points out that health as a convenience allows us to continue to engage as effective individuals in too much work or busyness, neglect our loved ones in narcissistic pursuits, and focus on distractions from feeling love and loving. Total health includes loving intimacy with those around us not just solitary health fitness practices and choices. Suffering can set us back or draw us together; none of us are self-sufficient.
But rather than polyamory, a term usually applied to guilt-free licentiousness rather than omnidirectional capacity for intimacy, he suggests a “pentamerous model of sexual healing, based in psychoneurosexualiy. Thoughts, feelings, caring, intimate touch, eroticism and healing can be united through meaningful sexual intimacy to promote wellness. Important factors include 1) self esteem; 2) intimacy; 3) coherence or rapport; 4) mindful celebration; and 5) sensual connection at the molecular level.
Sexual healing is a paradigm that transcends the mechanical tension-release model of the last 50 years. It looks for the healer between and maximizes the power of intimate connection between two people who choose to link their inner healers, to seek meaning in life together, and to express that connection physically.
The body is designed for connection. The body is an enchanted resonating musical instrument on which our minds play. We can use it as a means of celebrating and actualizing our connection with another person, an interactional synchrony. We can literally breath love and life into one another, particularly in times of illness or suffering.
When we make love, in a sense all of us have made love, since we all share the same genetic stuff. The sexual response model of sexual healing is based on the art of sex and the process of creating beauty and meaning together by merging not only our bodies but our most personal inner healers. Responsible intimacy leads directly toward world transformation.
We can heal ourselves, heal another, and help heal the world. Sexual healing is volitional, rational, socially responsible merging with our lover to find multidimensional meaning together: enhanced self esteem (self-actualization), increased sense of intimacy, shared sense of life coherence, mindfulness of the present moment, and sensual expression of loving caring. Sexual healing is thinking, behaving and responding sensuously with another person.
Meaningful sexual intimacy allows us to connect with the higher Self we all share, finding higher meaning and purpose in love. This helps with the manageability and comprehension of life’s seemingly endless chaos. Merging with someone we love makes us intensely aware of the present moment. It leads to an increased sense of purposeful, giving and caring life, constructive to society. Bonds don't happen; they are made. Meaningful bonds are not the automatic and inevitable result of love, but result from loving behaviors and intimate caring acts.
Matter is spiritually transformed through love. It matters deeply. Soul becomes matter and matter becomes soul. When the passion for life harmonizes with the transformative dynamic, body and soul are one. Divine ravishment is an awakening to higher innocence. Subjective and objective worlds become one.
Ravishment requires the conscious sacrifice of ego demands and unconscious power ~ saying YES to life. It means surrender spiritually to the thing between us, surrender to the body, to the process. You feel the blood, the bones, the beating heart. We plunge into our own Being. The genuine coniunctio is a complete interchange, a glimpse of the profound mystery of the spiritual life, putting our trust in the irrational. We risk doing so.
If the passionate receptivity is strong enough it is nearly impossible for beautiful and potent expression not to manifest. To receive is to connect with, to become permeable. The deeper the significant permeability the more pan-experiential it becomes. The intimacy of real softness and the experience of beauty and growth is inherent in honest and open interaction.
Deep receptivity seems to have no connection limited by our usual ways of thinking. Authentic receptivity empowers all who come near it, who risk being touched. We open to the outside and to ourselves, softening boundaries in our own being, discovering new things about ourselves in the process. It is an opening to experience as a whole: self and other, inner and outer self, existence as a whole. At our embodied core we are simply all-embracing wonder.
When the expressive potency penetrates and knows it is penetrating and the receptive receives and knows it is received, then both polarities are functioning in creative interplay, constant creation. In giving and receiving the forces of life are multiplied. The giving one receives and the receiving one gives by letting go. The body is surrendered to its own primordial oceanic rhythm in active expression.
We listen and respond and translate what is heard into creative interplay, trusting there is meaning in the irrational. This is the Tao of relationship, or Eros, the essential creative capacity to give and receive, which cannot separate sexuality from love.
To be true to the soul is to value the soul, to express it as uniquely as possible. Love engenders soul. The paradox is that to be in time is to be in the eternal. We see with new eyes. Sexuality is no longer limited to parts of us but becomes our total response to the whole world. We are either part of the problem or the solution. Unhealed patterns are passed on to future generations.